Service Design: Looking through your customers eyes
Service design, also known as customer experience design or CX, is all about understanding customer behavior in order to deliver a more positive, more customized experience. It focuses on being in tune with your customer through each and every touch point they have with your company and then enhancing those touch points to deliver a better outcome. This, in turn, creates loyalty—and in the business environment that exists today, where products and services are quickly becoming commoditized, it can be the difference between making it and breaking it for any customer-centered business.A recent survey on the impact of customer experience found that an astounding 86% of consumers would pay more for a better experience. It further concludes that 89% of consumers would try a competitor after undergoing a bad experience. With statistics like these, who can afford to ignore service design? Keep reading for more information on the basics of service design and some tips on adopting it within your organization.Service design: The basics
Service design works to align your organization—that’s people, infrastructure and other resources—to best enable it to move from offering goods and services to offering experiences. Nowadays, consumers have so many choices for goods and services that it becomes imperative to an organization’s success to offer authentic experiences where consumers leave feeling better about themselves, and in turn, your brand.There are three requirements that must be satisfied in order for a customer to commit to making a purchase:

  • Function—Does the product or service meet the customer’s basic needs?
  • Intellect—Is the customer confident they’re getting the best deal?
  • Emotion—Does the customer see himself or herself having a relationship with your brand?

If customers are unable to satisfy all three of these requirements, they will simply go through the motions but never commit to purchasing. Service design looks at these drop-off points and seeks ways to satisfy these requirements. Once you’ve determined what drives your customers to purchase, you can begin mapping their journey.

Customer journey mapping
Mapping the customer journey through every touch point they experience with your company will give you insight into the overall experience of buying from your company. Be sure to focus on the customers’ experiences and not on your own internal organizational structure. And use the information gathered from your customer journey map to fix the problems your customers experience along the way—this creates a truly valuable customer experience.

Design personas
Next is the design persona—this involves identifying exactly who your customers are through research. It considers models of key behaviors, attributes, motivations and goals. These personas can be used to guide the design of products, channels and messaging.

Service blueprint
And finally, you’re ready to craft your service blueprint—this is a specific and detailed design outlining how a particular service should be performed. It puts the focus on providing a customized service that delivers an exceptional experience for your customers at each and every touch point.

Employee engagement
Employee engagement in this initiative is critical for its success. Here are some tips to involve your employees with your service design efforts and build buy-in:

  • Collect employees’ customer insights—Your frontline employees know a lot about your customers. Regularly collect their general observations and feedback about problems and opportunities. Incent employees to provide this feedback by holding drawings where the feedback provided is entry to win. Prizes could include company logo’d hoodies, iPad® cases or messenger bags.
  • Collect and distribute customer feedback—Ask customers for their input and thank them with ear buds and the imprinted message “We are listening.” Distribute the results company-wide to help employees continue to improve.
  • Measure and design for employee engagement—Set goals for employee engagement and assess it. Employees are more likely to act on what is measured, incented and celebrated. Host department parties or lunches to celebrate a job well done and offer recognition for those who go the extra mile in providing an exceptional customer experience. Recognition can be in the form of verbal praise, trophies or plaques.

Remember, service design is all about delivering a great experience throughout each and every touch point a customer has with your company. Customers who experience this level of service are more likely to become customers for life. For more information on service design, check out our Service Design Blue Paper®.

“Service Design.” 4imprint.com. N.p., 8 May 2013. Web. 9 June 2013.

Oracle Corporation. 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report. Rep. Oracle Corporation, Jan. 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2013.

Merholz, Peter. “It’s Not Who Your Customers Are, It’s How They Behave.” Harvard Business Review. Harvard Business School Publishing, 11 Feb. 2009. Web. 26 Mar. 2013.

Rapide. “The Future of Customer Experience.” The Future of Customer Experience. SlideShare Inc., 30 May 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2013.

“CX Mistake #6: Ignoring Employees.” Customer Experience Matters. N.p., 28 Sept. 2011. Web. 10 June 2013.

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